Bluestar Partners With SATO for European Expanse

SATO has announced a pan-European distribution agreement with BlueStar POS, Mobility, RFID, Digital Signage, and ID and Security technology. This will provide European expansion for both organizations. BlueStar will distribute SATO products in the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iberia (Spain, Portugal, Andorra), France and Italy, where SATO is experiencing a significantly expanding reseller base. Its resellers will have a greater ability to offer their customers complete data collection and labelling solutions from a single source without long lead times.

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USA Tech Hits 109,000-Connections, Revenue Up 60%

USA Technologies wireless cashless transactions posted total revenue for the last quarter up 60% to $6.0 million compared to the year ago figure of $3.8 million. Meanwhile, revenue from recurring license and transaction fees was up 81% to $3.8 million compared to the year ago figure of $2.1 million and gross profit was $2.5 million, up 146% year-over-year on $1.0 million. This performance was thanks to the number of devices connected to its network having climbed a jaw-dropping 73% since last year to now connect 109,000 devices. Year-over-year, this realizes an 81% increase in license and transaction processing; cashless transactions processed having skyrocketed 94% to 15.9 million; processing volume having increased 75% to $26.2 million; and the number new USALive Network customers having boomed 81% since the year ago figure- 200 of whom were added during the past three months- totaling over 1,400 as of December 31, 2010.

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Small Business Confidence Drops From Mid-Year

U.S. small business confidence remained positive on the 108 HSBC Small Business Confidence Monitor. This demonstrates slightly renewed confidence from the year ago figure of 106 in 4Q/09, but is still not as high as it was in the middle of the year when it reached 120. The U.S. small business economic outlook has retracted over the past six months amid local economic growth concerns, with 80% of small businesses expecting the economy to remain the same or increase in the next six months and those expecting the local economy to grow having dropped to 14% from the 32% in 2Q/10. Subsequently, 76% plan to keep the number of staff unchanged. Additional HSBC findings show the number of U.S. businesses involved in international activities over the next two years jumped from 11% to 16%; 43% see an increase in local economic growth and 33% are planning to hire in 1H/11. Moreover, 32% of U.S. small businesses anticipate an increase in capital expenditure plans over the next six months versus 33 percent in 2Q2010.

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EMV Best for Securing mPayments

EMV is a secure technology for credit card/smart card transactions that is proven to reduce fraud, from which mobile payment solutions stand to benefit greatly. While there has been significant talk about the desire of the consumer to utilize cell phones for contactless payment, there are essential steps that must not be overlooked in order to make this desire a reality. Mobile payment transactions must be convenient and secure – a task where magnetic stripe transactions fail and EMV corrects through implementation of dynamic data. This provides a unique identifier for each transaction and ensures fraudsters and cyber thieves they cannot steal data used in a transaction and then repurpose it to commit identity theft.

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FNDS3000 Cards Issued Up 52%, Loads $13mm

FNDS3000 international prepaid processing posted its fiscal 1Q/11, with revenue totaled up from $78,000 to $365,000. These positive results are thanks in part to the number of prepaid cards issued and activated having increased to approximately 35,600- up 52% from the 23,400 active cards issued as of August 31, 2010- to which more than $13million was loaded. Throughout the quarter, FNDS3000 implemented several strategic reorganizational initiatives to streamline senior management; reduce corporate overhead; strengthen its South African business operations; and signed a $2.5 million, non-brokered equity financing agreement that will be closed in four tranches over a nine-month period. Net loss totaled $1,054,000 for a 7.5% decrease from $1,140,000.

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Western Union Expands Through Sberbank

Western Union plans to offer money transfer services across Russia through its latest agreement with Sberbank. In 2011, Sberbank is to offer consumer-to-consumer money transfers at 8,000 branches. The companies plan to expand the service and consider enabling customers to transfer money from their accounts online to any of the 386,000 Western Union offices around the world.

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MoneyGram International Expands Executive Team

MoneyGram International global money transfer has appointed Phyllis Skene-Stimac as SVP and chief compliance officer and Patricia Sullivan SVP, communications. Stimac brings to the roll 20 years’ experience running compliance programs for financial services institutions, most recently as Deputy Chief Compliance Officer at Western Union, and specializes in anti-money laundering and regulatory programs. She will focus on advancing MoneyGram’s Global Compliance efforts. Meanwhile, Sullivan brings to her new role more than 20 years’ marketing and public relations experience in consumer brands and financial services, most recently as senior director of communications for Blockbuster and will be responsible for reputation management and building brand awareness.

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Half of Can-Do-Cash ATMs EMV compliant

Over 50% of Canada-based Can-Do-Cash ATMs are now EMV compliant and have met The Interac Association’s deadline for ATM networks to do so by Dec. 31. This was thanks to its transaction processor, TNS Smart Network The Interac Association will require Can-Do-Cash and other Canada-based ATM operators have their entire fleet of machines EMV complaint by Dec. 31, 2012. Can-Do-Cash owns and operates around 800 white-label ATMs in Ontario and Quebec provinces and is expanding to Manitoba.

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First Data to Provide Kohl’s Card Processing

First Data electronic commerce and payment processing has entered into an agreement with Kohl’s Department Stores to provide payment processing services for the company’s private brand credit card accounts. The multi-year agreement calls for First Data to provide Kohl’s with credit card processing, customer analytics, risk management services and automated customer service workflow tools. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Kohl’s partnership with First Data will not affect Kohl’s current credit card arrangement with Chase or the company’s previously announced agreement with Capital One.

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VantageScore Scoring Made Available to Lenders

VantageScore Solutions has launched its “VantageScore 2.0” credit scoring model. Now available to financial institutions in a production environment from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, “VantageScore 2.0” is fully implemented at each CRC and was redesigned in response to a recent profound change in consumer credit repayment behavior. This recent update is to ensure scoring remains as accurate and predictive as possible and was built using a development sample compiled from the 2006 – 2008 and 2007 – 2009 performance timeframes to reflect more recent credit conditions. It captures both a broad and recent set of consumer behaviors across the full spectrum of economic events, reducing algorithm sensitivity to highly volatile behavior that can be found in a single timeframe and extending performance stability over time.

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SCA Launches Open Bank Card Payments Workshop

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is kicking off its full-day educational workshop on open bank card payments for transit. The workshop will offer a comprehensive view of open bank card contactless payments and how they pertain to transit. Industry expert speakers will discuss alternative architectures for open transit fare payment and provide practical planning and implementation guidance for developing the business case and procurement strategy for open bank card payments.

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NEOVIA Acquires Optimal Payments Online Payments

NEOVIA has entered into of a definitive agreement to acquire the Optimal Payments online payments business and and all its assets for consideration of up to US$50 million in cash, shares, vendor debt financing and warrants. This development will allow NEOVIA to offer straight through processing solutions to merchants in North America and Europe, with Optimal processing more than US$ 2.5 billion in transactions every year. This Dramatically diversifies and broadens NEOVIA’s merchant base; provides a strong North American presence and fuller exposure to rapidly growing e-commerce markets.

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